"Winning Isn't Everything: Fan Loyalty and "Great Sports Towns""
A draft paper with some interesting findings regarding fan loyalty
and the supposed notion of great sports towns.
Notice the finding that "the fact the sum of the coefficients on
overall games behind plus that on the Red Sox games behind is
actually significantly positive, implying that Boston fans are
actually more likely to attend games as their team's performance
declines (Kwoka et al., 2003, 10)." Weird, but not unbelievable.
According to this analysis, San Francisco, Cleveland, and Houston
have the largest "fair weather" fan effect (I think this paper pre-
dates the new stadium for the Giants). The New York Yankees have a
slight but statistically significant erosion of fan support in terms
of attedance the worse their team does.
The Chicago Cubs, perhaps not suprisingly, do very well in this
So, I stand corrected: according to this measure, it seems that
Boston fans are better fans, if by better we mean more loyal, than
Yankees fans. Boston baseball fans appear to be the most loyal in
baseball and this lends credence to the notion that Boston is a
great sports town that enjoys an overwhelming love of its own. Now
that we have some idea of how the world works, we can then turn to
the normative meaning. Why do we suppose this is the case?